02/19/2003 10:48 pm ET
Angelos: Ephedrine is a problem
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos had an impromptu question-and-answer session with reporters on Wednesday evening after attending a memorial service for pitcher Steve Bechler at the team's Spring Training complex.
|By Becky Dubin Jenkins / MLB.com
Angelos' message was clear: He thinks nutritional supplements containing dangerous substances should not be available over the counter. And he wants the help of Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association or Congress in banning them.
Angelos' concern has been elevated in the wake of Bechler's death, which a medical examiner on Monday said probably could be blamed on Bechler's use of a supplement containing ephedrine.
Toxicology reports confirming the evidence of ephedrine in Bechler's bloodstream are not expected for at least two more weeks. But Angelos said he thinks his worst suspicions may be confirmed when they are released.
"I think we would all be well-advised to wait until the final report from the medical examiner, but certainly the comments he has made to this point is that ephedrine played a part in producing this tragedy," Angelos said. "These nutritional substances or supplements as they are referred to -- I don't know how nutritional they are -- are a problem in our society and not just among athletes."
Angelos said he believes the problem can be helped if the players' association agrees to a tougher drug policy, or if Congress agrees to control certain drugs by making things like ephedrine a prescription-only substance.
Suffolk County, N.Y., has passed legislation to ban the sale of ephedra, from which ephedrine is made, only a week ago. If county executive Robert J. Gaffney approves it, the county would be the first community in the nation to ban the sale of the substance.
"The Commissioner (since) over a year ago has been pushing the union to agree these drugs should be prohibited," Angelos said. "So if a player is using them, the clubs have the authority to impose sanctions.
"When something like this occurs, it really brings home the desperate need to get those so-called legal nutrional supplements under control and to be included in the Schedule Three prohibited drugs," Angelos said.
Schedule Three drugs include drugs such as amphetamines and methamphetamines.
"Hopefully from this terrible tragedy a reassessment on their position will come," Angelos said. "Not criticizing anyone, but this tells us all we need to address this problem immediately and follow the leadership of Commissioner Selig."
Becky Dubin Jenkins is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was
not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.